MEET FAYROUZ ABOELKHEIR by Jérôme Elhaïk
Egyptian squash may have a lot of prospects, but she is one of the brightest ones: meet Fayrouz Aboelkheir, who turned 16 years old a few days ago and is the youngest player in the world top 100.
Even for those who are at the top of the rankings, Egyptian players do no neglect their studies and Fayrouz Aboelkheir is following that path.
“Whenever I am travelling abroad, I attend my lessons online and I do my homework. Even though it’s not easy I am trying to keep up with both education and sports. I will be going to university for sure, but am still uncertain if I’ll choose engineering or business/accounting.”
After having the 2020 British Junior Open in U15 in emphatic manner, Fayrouz Aboelkheir made a brilliant start on the PSA Challenger Tour the following year, winning two events on home soil. She moved up one more gear in 2022 and had some impressive results in the US at the beginning of 2022, getting very close to beating world #25 Lucy Turmel.
“My team and I worked very hard in January, because we knew I’d be playing three tournaments in a row – two in the USA as well as an important one here in Egypt just after I returned. My game has improved a lot, mostly physically since I am aware that the PSA matches require a lot more work than the junior ones in this department.”
The World Championship will take place in Fayrouz’s home country and Val-de-Reuil Normandie 2022 is one of the four qualifying tournaments. Is that the main reason why she’s entered the event?
“It would be very special to play the World Championship, since my friends and all my family may come and support me. However the fact that there is a spot up for grabs in Val-de-Reuil is not the only reason why I entered: I won a tournament at this time last year, therefore the points will be taken away at the end of March and I needed to try and get some back. I am not familiar with all the players in the draw, but noone can be taken lightly at this level.”
Fayrouz won’t be on her own in Normandy.
“I’ve come to your country before, to play in the French Junior Open (author’s note: she finished 3rd in U13 in 2017 while she was 10 years old). My family will be coming with me in Val-de-Reuil, and we’ll take this opportunity to visit some famous sites in Paris. As fas as I am concerned, I’d love to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower!”